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Jack B. Weinstein, Chief Judge for EDNY, Dies at 99

06/16/2021

Jack B. Weinstein, who served as a judge for 53 years and as Chief Judge for the Eastern District of New York for nearly a decade, died June 15 at age 99.

Weinstein’s long and influential career—he retired from the federal bench at age 98—included noteworthy leadership and scholarship in the areas of evidence and mass torts. He was a fierce advocate for the rights of the marginalized in the legal system and a larger role for young lawyers, especially women, in the courtroom.

Weinstein had long associations with Brooklyn Law School, faculty, and students. As Adjunct Professor from 1991 to 1996, he taught Individual Justice in Mass Society, Science and the Law Seminar, and Complex Litigation. He was co-author with the late Professor Margaret Berger of several books, including Weinstein’s Federal Evidence, widely considered the preeminent treatise on the federal rules of evidence. President and Dean Emerita Joan Wexler served as a law clerk for Weinstein, as did Professor Anita Bernstein. Several Brooklyn Law School graduates also went on to serve as law clerks for the Judge. An esteemed colleague on the faculty, he was honored on the occasion of his 80th birthday with the special event, Judge Jack B. Weinstein, Tort Litigation, and the Public Good, which featured commentary by Professor Aaron Twerski and Professor Berger.

Weinstein was nominated to the bench by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967, and served as Chief Judge of the Eastern District from 1980-1988. His judicial service extended to membership of the Judicial Conference of the United States, and he was a member of the Committee that drafted the Federal Rules of Evidence. He was a graduate of Brooklyn College and Columbia Law School, and, as a young lawyer, assisted Thurgood Marshall with briefs for Brown v. Board of Education.

He is survived by his wife, Susan Berk; three sons, Seth, Michael, and Howard; two stepchildren, Ronnie Rosenberg and Stephanie Berlin; two grandchildren; and four step-grandchildren.

Read more about Judge Weinstein’s remarkable career and landmark cases